Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Christian Right Declares War On Homosexuals!

Sort of.

Let it never be said that the Left doesn't have its fair share of paranoia and persecution complexes. The normally erudite internet scholars over at Barbelith are going ballistic over this article.

As with most legislation, it's really difficult to find proper summaries, so I can't say that I really understand the bill. However, from the perspective of the 365gay.com news page, here is the main issue of concern: "If passed the bills would allow refusal of treatment for specific medical conditions that uniquely affect the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, including hormone therapy for transgender people and assisted reproduction for same-sex couples."

The link says the bill allows doctors to refuse specific kinds of non-emergency services.

I'm a card-carrying liberal, I voted Green in the last provincial election, and I'm all for gay marriage. But I'm siding with the "fundies" on this one.

I've got a lot of sincere, honest Christian friends who believe homosexuality is a sin. Now, I disagree with them when they argue against gay marriage - because that isn't any of their business. If two guys want to kiss each other, that doesn't affect them at all. They need to butt out.

It's entirely different for the state to tell a Christian that they have to directly assist somone commit what the Christian sees as a sin. Forcing a Christian doctor to assist someone change their sex is no better than forcing a Christian minister to perform a gay marriage. It is simply trading one form of discrimination for another.

The larger issue is one of medical ethics. Other bills like this have either recently passed or will soon be passed; they do things like protect doctors and nurses who refuse to perform or assist with abortions, or protect pharmacists who refuse to hand out morning after pills. These seem like perfectly reasonable protections.

It's all about personal principles. Everybody has to have them; they are our emotional skeletons. They hold us together. Without principles, you're an invertebrate. If a person's principles clash with those around them either on a small scale, friendship level or a large scale, societal level, that person has to decide how important those principles are - and whether or not to act on them.

Forcing medical personal to assist in an abortion or a sex change operation may very well clash with deeply held personal principles, and I'm not willing to force somone to choose between their principles and their job, in the context of elective procedures. It's simply wrong to force a doctor to perform an elective procedure they find morally offensive.

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